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The Surprising Reality of Mobile Money Around the World

By Guest Writer on February 24, 2016

mobile money report

Mobile money has done more to extend the reach of financial services in the last decade than traditional “bricks and mortar” banking has in the last century.

This week, GSMA released the 2015 State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money. Now in its fifth year, this report provides stakeholders with a comprehensive quantitative assessment of the mobile money industry for unbanked and underserved people.

Mobile money is reaching more than 411 million people globally. Moreover, it is available in 85% of countries where the vast majority of the population lacks access to a formal financial institution. This is an extraordinary achievement, demonstrating the power of mobile, underpinned by the critical role mobile network operators have played in building this industry.

However, while the success to date is to be celebrated, the future success of mobile money depends on the industry’s capacity to adapt to a changing landscape. The findings from the 2015 report provide insights on both current and future trends, giving better visibility on what is changing and how to adapt. This year, we see four key trends that will impact the industry’s evolution:

  • With an increasingly active customer base, further development of the mobile money ecosystem will be essential to diversify customer usage
  • Operational foundations and agent management remain critical to digitise cash
  • Greater investment will be key for providers to compete in an online world
  • While mobile money is reaching further than ever before, there is still an opportunity to reach underserved segments, particularly women and rural consumers

The 2015 State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money focuses on industry trends, covering:

  • Availability and spread of mobile money services globally
  • Access to mobile money services, including both physical access through agent networks and technical access through the mobile interface
  • Adoption and customer activity levels, particularly how mobile money providers drive scale
  • Usage and how the industry is focusing on usage that builds the ecosystem
  • Mobile money revenues and investment

Additionally, a forthcoming analysis on the adoption of other mobile financial services: mobile insurance, mobile savings, and mobile credit, will be released in late spring 2016.

This post was written by Lara Gilman and originally appeared on the GSMA website.

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